Perfume – ⊿August 8, 2009 at 8:22 PM | Posted in Perfume | 1 Comment
The cover of the regular edition
⊿ is Perfume’s 2nd studio album and it was released on July 8, 2009. The album reached #1 on the Oricon Weekly Charts and sold 299,544 copies. For those who are confused about the title, it’s simply just “Triangle” if you said it out loud. ;D
♦ ♦ ♦
Starting off the album is a short track that is only about 50 seconds long, but Take off is a sleek instrumental that gets you ready for what’s to come. I liked that it features the girls “counting down” to 0 as it transitions into the first full-length song.
That song happens to be the perky and overly cute love the world, the first single released for the album. Back when I reviewed the song as a single, I stated that it was “less electronic and more pop”. I still stand by what I said but irregardless, it’s a nice song. The music is upbeat, catchy, and has a memorable hook.
Dream Fighter is my least favorite of the A-sides but on the album it’s a great follow up to the pop sound heard in love the world. I do like it a little bit more now though since it has a nice pace and rhythm. The vocals aren’t bad either.
All I can say about the new mix of edge is HOLY SHIT. I love that the song has been retouched and everything about the music has been pumped up to the next level. The beats are stronger, the synth is more aggressive, and those instrumental sections have extra sound effects. Basically, this is a new take on the song’s extended version and it’s nearly 9 minutes long, but I was loving every second. The original and extended version were both on the love the world single.
A whole slew of new tracks are up next! NIGHT FLIGHT was one of the album’s 2 promotional songs and it features a spacy, futuristic sound. I liked the fast paced, yet smooth vocals and they go well with the constant beeps and synth lines. The lyrics make a night flight / have a nice flight from the chorus are pretty infectious as well.
The next track is funky and showcases an offbeat arrangement. Despite being one of the album’s shortest songs at under 3 minutes, Kiss and Music is a nice treat. The tempo is slower compared to the previous tracks but the music has a pleasant lounge club vibe. It left me wanting more though.
Zero Gravity seems to add upon the lounge atmosphere heard in Kiss and Music. Once again, the arrangement is reserved to say the least but there are prominent synth riffs that make up the short instrumental sections. I wasn’t a big fan of the vocals in this track though. The girls sound especially shrilly here; the chorus being the most noticable part.
The other promotional song for the album was I still love U and it marks a return to a strong electronic sound. I really liked the “broken” effect of the synth and it has a scattered, yet sharp sensibility to it. The arrangement also reminded me of that always cool 8-bit video game sound, but with a modern twist. In the end, this song was a personal favorite of mine.
It gets better with The best thing, a cheery song with more enthusiastic vocals. The girls do sound less stoic in this track and they compliment the considerably brighter arrangement. Naturally, I liked the chorus the most but I also thought it was cool that the ending of this song transitions seamlessly into the next.
Almost every Yasutaka Nakata produced album has one of these songs. I like to call it the ~glorified instrumental~. In Speed of Sound, there is no singing but rather, the girls are “reciting” the lyrics. Alongside upbeat synth and dance beats, the girls are just saying the words (which are in English) without any emphasis. Still, I thought the music was pretty cool.
Without a doubt, One Room Disco is my favorite song on the album. I seriously love this track way too much and in all honesty, this is the first Perfume song that I have gone crazy over since Polyrhythm. While I think the entire song is incredibly fun and catchy, I absolutely love the ending when those awesome drum beats come in.
Ending the album is a new mix of Negai, the B-side from the Dream Fighter single. This is the closest thing to a ballad that you’ll hear from Perfume and I really liked the way it got reworked. The beginning now has piano and strings included and you occasionally hear them next to the gritty beats when the girls are singing. The ending is also different and the song closes with extra beats and strings instead of just a lone piano. Overall, it’s an improvement over the original.
While I was a fan of Perfume’s debut studio album GAME, I have to say that ⊿ is a lot better. Even though GAME had better A-sides, it began to lose steam around the 2nd half. However, I never seemed to lose interest when I listened to this album. It’s very consistent and well rounded from beginning to end. Plus, all of the new tracks have something going for them (unlike the majority of GAME‘s new tracks). I especially enjoyed NIGHT FLIGHT, I still love U, and The best thing. The new mixes of edge and Negai were very welcome additions as well. Perfume, or should I say Yasutaka Nakata, really brought it home this time and this is one of my favorite albums of 2009 thus far.
1. Take off
2. love the world
3. Dream Fighter
4. edge (⊿-mix)
5. NIGHT FLIGHT
6. Kiss and Music
7. Zero Gravity
8. I still love U
9. The best thing
10. Speed of Sound
11. One Room Disco (ワンルーム・ディスコ)
12. Negai (Album-mix) (願い)
Note: My favorite tracks are highlighted in blue!